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Best of Tangerine Dream:

One of the grooviest ”hits” of the early Virgin Years, with epic cover art to match.

▶︎ Stream Stratosfear on YouTube

For the 10th entry of “The Best of Tangerine Dream”, get ready to put on your headphones, turn on your lava lamp, imbibe on your late-night vice of choice, and rock out 🤘 to the groovy melodies of Stratosfear.

I think my father first heard this on the radio and subsequently bought the record (vinyl of course). That’s how he was introduced to Tangerine Dream, and thus how I was eventually introduced. And no surprise: Statosfear is a much more palatable rock anthem than their previous ambient/Berlin School outings to date, with a tighter focus in the studio production and a broader array of melodious synth patches—not to mention some lovely electric guitar work by Mr. Froese. And even though the track clocks in at over 10 minutes, it moves along swiftly and is over long before anyone might tire of the compositional structure.

In many ways, Stratosfear would come to define the Tangerine Dream sound for decades to come far more than their previous studio albums Phadrea or Rubycon. Yet I personally don’t often find myself reaching for this album overall. It’s iconic, yes. And the space-age cover art by Monique Froese (Edgar’s Wife) is one of TD’s best ever. However, in terms of emotional appeal, I might resonate more with, say, Ricochet, Part 2 when discussing their mid-70s output.

Still, Stratosfear is a cool tune with a rad bassline, and it’s been a fan favorite at concerts and in best-of lists for a long, long time. What’s not to love?

Notable remix/re-recording: Jerome Froese’s Stratosfear 1995 from Tyranny of Beauty (the version often performed live subsequently).

Coming up next in the series: Comet’s Figure Head & Outland.

/// October 28, 2022 ///